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How Fun in the Sun Can

Impact Vascular Health 

Learn ways to mitigate your risk for heart attack and stroke this summer!

· Heart of Innovation


While most vascular events seem to happen in winter versus summer, fun in the sun can impact your vascular health, increasing your morbidity and mortality. So, during episode five of The Heart of Innovation, co-hosts Emmy Award-winning Journalist Kym McNicholas and Interventional Cardiologist Dr. John Phillips are joined by Interventional Cardiologist Dr. George Adams, Director of Cardiovascular & Peripheral Research at Rex Hospital in North Carolina, to talk about who is most at-risk of weathering from
the summer heat and how to mitigate that risk.

We hear the broken record to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate on hot days. But on this show we talk about why it’s important. Dr. Phillips explains that when our body heats up, normally we sweat as the primary means of helping our body control its temperature. But dehydration impairs this process and can lead to heat
stroke, heat exhaustion, even heart attack. Dr. Adams adds that those with Peripheral Artery Disease, restricted blood flow in mainly the legs due to plaque build-up, dehydration can also lead to increased claudication, or leg cramps, stopping you in your tracks. They both contend that adding fluid with
electrolytes is important, making sure your choice beverage is not high in sugar or sodium, will help reduce risk of dehydration. The Way To My Heart’s Nurse Practitioner Kay suggests tonic water as well, especially to reduce leg cramps. She advises not to ‘chug’ it all at once, but to instead, sip it gradually throughout your exercise regiment and throughout the day.

Did you know generalmedications you take for vascular issues and other ailments can also cause
dehydration, reduce your body’s ability to sweat, and increase your risk of sunburn? During the show Kym also mentions some of those as advised by The Way To My Heart’s Pharmacy Advisor Dr. Avni Kardani. They include diuretics (water pills), allergy medications such as Benadryl and pseudophedrine,
anti-depressants, blood thinners, drugs for arrythmia, NSAIDs, and even chemotherapy drugs. She suggests asking your physician or pharmacist these questions:

  • Are the medications I'm taking putting me at greater risk of heat stroke?
  • What are the steps I must take to mitigate my risk of heat stroke?
  • How do I know if I'm having a heat stroke? What are the signs & symptoms?
  • What should I do if I think I'm having a heat stroke?

Several patients called in during the broadcast includingMonique, Marcia, and Heidi who had specific questions about exercising more effectively during the summer months to reduce risk of injury, whether the heat can increase someone’s risk of a heart attack if they have heavy plaque build-up in their coronary arteries, and if the heat plays a role in increased fatigue following a procedure to unblock arteries in the legs or heart during the summer months. Interventional Cardiologists’ Dr. Phillips and Dr. Adams were able to help those patients during the LIVE broadcast. Patients are welcome to call-in LIVE during the show each Saturday starting at 11am PT, 1pm CT, 2pm ET to talk to a vascular specialist. The call-in number is: 1-888-367-5329.

Tune into the show to learn more about the summer heat andvascular health. Also, you don’t want to miss this week’s Save My Piggies segment as Bill from Ohio shares his story of perseverance using walking as
medicine when doctors told him there was no other surgical option that wasn’t high-risk for him. You will be inspired by his ability to improve his vascular health with every step he takes! Dr. Phillips and Dr. Adams explain why this is possible by discussing the mechanism of action by which walking can increase

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